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153 ¶ ¶ BRUSSELS, November 13, 23:55 /ITAR-TASS/. The European Parliament’s monitoring mission to Ukraine will continue working until the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius to be held on November 28-29, European Parliament President Martin Schultz said on Wednesday, November 13.
In the light of the above and following the recommendation of President Schulz, supported unanimously by the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament, it was decided to extend the mandate of the mission until the Vilnius Summit and to ask the mission to return to Ukraine next week, Pat Cox, former President of the European Parliament, and Aleksander Kwasniewski, former President of the Republic of Poland, co-chairs of the monitoring mission, said in their joint statement.
“In view of the upcoming Foreign Affairs Council on 18 November 2013, we are of the opinion at this time that it would be premature to conclude that compliance with the conditions set has been met or alternatively that such compliance still cannot be achieved. In our considered opinion the issues outstanding can be resolved by one means or another. What is critical is not the capacity to deliver a solution but rather the political will to do so. What is indispensable in the coming week is to find that political will, to act and to deliver,” they said.
The co-chairs noted that a draft law on the public prosecutor’s office and a draft law amending the law on the parliamentary elections were successfully passed at the first reading in the Verkhovna Rada, or parliament, on November 8 with the full support of the opposition. The second and final reading of these laws is due to take place next week at the parliamentary session that starts on November 19.
“After several months of reflection and discussion of different options, the mission suggested the partial pardoning of Mrs Yulia Timoshenko as the most viable way to resolve the remaining problem of selective justice. This option would represent the minimum requirement capable of yielding the maximum effect, would depend solely on the authority and goodwill of the President of Ukraine and would not involve delegating responsibility to other institutions and would not necessitate changing any existing legislation,” they said.
Cox and Kwasniewski stressed that “time is running out to achieve compliance with the conditions required for the signature of the Association Agreement on 29 November 2013.”
“The last pre-Vilnius parliamentary session in Ukraine will be held next week. It can be decisive in yielding a settlement but risks also to result in stalemate and a non-productive blame game. The mission urges all parties involved to constructively use the short time available to reach an historic consensus that could result in a successful summit in Vilnius,” they noted.
They also noted “a chronic lack of mutual trust and confidence between the parties of government and opposition” in the parliament.